Match Day Recap
I have a confession to make. I was not able to watch all of this game as my in-laws in town for a visit. However, I have seen the highlights and read all the reports (Samrin Hasib wrote an excellent one here). We played in much the same dominating fashion as we did against Paderborn, with Köln keeper Timo Horn the only thing stopping this game from becoming a real laugher. The only real threat I could see from Köln was in the 33' when Manuel Neuer had to deliver a brilliant double save in the box to prevent them from equalizing. Daniel Halfar is going to be getting a lot of grief for this one, and well he should, but this loss was not all on him. Yes, he scored the sloppiest of own goals I might have ever seen, and yes, his giveaway did lead almost directly to the opening goal. However, he did not get a whole lot of help from his teammates. On the whole, they played about as well as they should have been expected as a very overmatched team.
Tip O' The Cap: Arjen Robben. Had a drive into the box that should have resulted in a penalty kick. Outside of that, he was his usual self, dominating the right side of the pitch, and while he may not have registered an assist, his runs and passes led to both goals
Subtle Golf Clap: Xabi Alonso. I am inching closer and closer to a full on Der Man Crush on Xabi. His passing and holding ability was integral in Bayern maintaining possession and limiting their chances. At this point, it is becoming such a weekly expectation for him to put in a fantastic performance like this, that I rarely notice it.
Standing Ovation: Timo Horn. GASPS! A non Bayern player getting a Der Standing Ovation??? Yes, folks, for the first time in Der Monday Meister's long 5 week history, an opposing player is getting some very special recognition. Timo Horn, take a bow. The 21 year old put in a sparkling performance with the only goals allowed being an own goal (hardly his fault) and a goal where his defense literally sat and watched the ball go from the corner to the far post in a succession of passes, the end of which Goetze buried. The future is bright for this kid, and he may have just made Köln some money on the transfer market
Man Of The Match: Mario Götze. I pondered long and hard about giving MOTM to Horn, but in the end, as good as Horn was, Mario was on another level. This is his second straight MOTM, and he is hitting a whole new level with his confidence, passing, creativity, you name it. He has some kind of chemistry going on with Müller and Robben which can only bode well for Bayern going forward. Yes, he missed a golden opportunity to pot his second brace in as many weeks, but I wonder if 2013/2014 Götze would have even been in position to make that strike. His awareness is on another level and he keeps getting better. Needless to say, I am very excited about his form as of late.
Mainz 0-0 Hoffenheim
Just when I was about to start taking Mainz seriously, they go scoreless against Hoffenheim at home. Mainz had 60% possession and 429 passes with 81% accuracy, but could only muster 3 shots on goal. Now, I have to give Hoffenheim some credit here, they got in the mud and played dirty, conceding 25 fouls that doubtless broke up a scoring opportunity or two. Regardless, Mainz has got to come away with a win here if they want to keep pace with the top of the BL.
Schalke 2-1 Borussia Dortmund
Okay, I give up. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out these two teams. Dortmund's back line looked nothing like it did in their tilt with Arsenal, and Schalke looked a lot more aggressive in their attack than they did against Chelsea, even though they did manage a well earned draw against them. Schalke is hitting their stride at just the right time, and Dortmund, despite getting Mats Hummels back from injury, cannot find their form. Kevin-Prince Boateng had a great game, and Eric Chuopo-Moting was brilliant on the attack, scoring what would be the winning goal in the 23'. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had the lone goal for Dortmund, who did his best to harry the Schalke defense.
Freiburg 0-0 Bayer Leverkusen
Whelp, Leverkusen is back to making me look dumb for this week at least. Against Freiburg, they found another way to not win, with Emir Spahic getting sent off in the 28' with his second yellow of the game. Seriously, if you are already sitting on one yellow after the 8', maybe you wanna tone down your tackles? Anyway, for the next 50 minutes, Leverkusen, playing a man down on Freiburg, still managed to get 8 shots on target. Now I said 50 minutes earlier because in the 78' Freiburg would see Pavel Krmas sent off with his second yellow. All in all, an ugly game with 45 total fouls conceded, and honestly, neither team really deserved to win
Stuttgart 1-0 Hannover
I have to give credit where credit is due, and I give a lot of credit to Stuttgart. They managed to come away with a point against Dortmund and found a way to win in a game against Hannover. And, they definitely deserved to win. They looked crisp and sharp, completing 84% of their passes and managing to get 6 shots on target. Despite Hannover keeper Ron-Robert Zieler turning away anything and everything, they kept with it and broke through in the 69' from Daniel Schwaab. They spent a lot of time in the offensive zone as evidenced by their 8 corners to Hannover's 1. So, this weeks "I see you" goes to Stuttgart. Now don not make me look bad next week.
Paderborn 1-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. One time league leaders SC Paderborn have now lost 2 straight, and all is right with the world. Seriously though, congrats to them on their hot start, but this how the rest of the Bundesliga plays ball. Gladbach got off to an early start, and it looked like the route was going to be on after goals in the 8' and 14' Patrick Herrmann and Raffael. Gladbach dominated from start to finish, practically setting up camp in the offensive zone. They had 9 corners to Paderborn's 0 and hammered away at them conceding twice as many fouls as Paderborn to drive home that physical edge. Paderborn did, however, make it look good with a goal from Jens Wemmer in the 70', but this game was all Gladbach.
Wolfsburg 2-1 Werder Bremen
In a back and forth affair, it was Wolfsburg who prevailed with goals in the 15' from Ricardo Rodriguez and later in the 57' from Ivica Olic to put Wolfsburg ahead for good. Nineteen year old Marnon-Thomas Busch scored the lone goal for Bremen, who looked sloppy most of the game, completing only 64% of their passes and only keeping the ball 41% of the time. Wolfsburg however, completed their passes at a 77% clip and after gaining the go ahead goal, cruised to a well earned victory.
Augsburg 1-0 Hertha Berlin
The scrappy plucky Bavarian upstarts went toe to toe with the big bad Berliners and delighted the home crowd to a 1-0 win after scoring the games only goal in the 27' from Paul Verhaegh. Both sides played each other very well. They had a similar number of shots (8 to 10) passes (222 to 198) and passing percentage (66% to 64%). All in all, a good win for Augsburg in one of those games they kinda have to win if they want to avoid the relegation zone.
Hamburger 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
Oh Hamburg. Oy gevalt, what are we gonna do with you? In case you haven't heard, Hamburg have set a new record for futility in breaking a record for scorelessness that had stood since 1980 (coincidentally, a year in which Hamburg won the Bundesliga). I would hate to see them relegated, but unless something changes in this squad, that is exactly where they are heading. On to the match, after Frankfurt had gotten off to a 1-0 lead in the 44' from Haris Seferovic, it all looked like the same ol' gag for Hamburg, as they still could find a way to get the ball in the goal. However, I have to give credit to Hamburg for not panicking and sticking with the game plan. It would eventually lead to the equalizer and the end to the dubious streak in the 58' from Nicolai Mueller. However, to give the ultimate dagger to Hamburg crowd, Frankfurt came through with the winning goal in the 90' from Lucas Piazon. What was most shocking about this match is just how much it seems Hamburg outplayed Frankfurt. They completed a whopping 436 passes to Frankfurt's 157 and held the ball for 68% of the match. Sometimes, that is just how the ball bounces
Champions League Eligible
Bayern Munich - 14 points
Borussia Monchengladbach - 12 points
Bayer Leverkusen - 11 points
Mainz - 10 points
Werder Bremen - 3 points
Hamburger SV - 2 points
Bayern News Roundup
New Bayern Youth Transfer Targets?
Bayern are apparently targeting a 17 year old Nederlander who has also drawn interest from Dortmund as well. Given his ties, and his desire to emulate Robben in all things possible (please, just do not be a diver), one would think we have a leg up on the competition here. He seems to have a good head on his shoulders as he is already expressing his misgivings about making the big jump too soon. Go ahead, boy-o, make the jump. We have an outstanding youth development system. You will be in good hands. That goes for you too, Dele Alli. Bayern and Liverpool is courting the 18 year old Englander, being dubbed the next Steven Gerrard. It would be nice to go into England and snag a youngster from under THEIR noses for a change. Anyway, he currently plays for MK Dons. You may remember them as the side who ran roughshod over Manchester United in one of England's 30 different cup competitions
Götze Loving Bayern
After a season which could be classified as up and down, mostly due to injuries, Mario Götze admits he is finally coming into his own under Pep. He is comfortable, he is scoring, and Bayern are winning. All of which is just suuuuuper awesome. Anyway, you can probably tell this week is my Mario Love Week, so just click the damn link and gag your way through it. I promise these will not be all so Götze heavy
Not Really Surprising, But Still Infuriating....
The recent TV money report came out and it turns out Real and Barça make 4 times as much on revenue as we do. While we all knew for a long time that the Bundesliga was stuck in a terrible contract, it is still frustrating to see just how wide the disparity really is. For those of you who are curious, we accrued 36.93 million euros, or about half of what last place Cardiff City got in revenue from the Premier League. Now, this is not all doom and gloom. The fact that Bayern, Dortmund and a handful of other Bundesliga squads are still ranked in the top 25 strongest brands in the world shows the financial strength of the Bundesliga as a whole. They have not needed massive TV revenue to stay relevant on the world stage. But man, it sure would be nice. Here's to you Fox Sports!
Beer Of The Week!
I am almost half tempted to do just pumpkin beers from here on out seeing how it made you all ever so happy last week. But alas, I will not put you through that again. This week, I am going to keep it simple. I am picking Weihenstephan Oktoberfest. Yes, in this one I am breaking a small rule of mine: Do not repeat the same style. As I am sure you all remember, I picked Saranac's Darktoberfest a couple weeks ago, but Weihenstephan's was so different, I thought it warranted a selection. It is a crisp and golden in color, with a good wheat backbone, some earthy notes which really hit the nose and a surprisingly strong hoppiness to it. Like all good Oktoberfest beers, this one is very drinkable and pairs well with sausages and burgers. I know, because we just had a cookout last night and it paired wonderfully.